Seniors in the community will be able to win some food while enjoying some games at the same time.

Portage Service for Seniors was given a small grant from the Manitoba Association of Senior Communities (MASC) to make these bingo games possible. Senior Resource Coordinator Kaylee Hannah says the grant is designed to showcase social participation and intergenerational programming.

“We have students from high schools that are involved with our seniors in (the Oak Tree Towers),” explains Hannah. “They do some bingo, and then the winners win food prizes. They win smaller food prizes for the smaller wins, and the blackout winners get a nice food hamper.”

Gabbie Genaille is one of the volunteers and called out the bingo numbers. She’s happy to be out and about supporting the community.

Gabbie Genaille.Gabbie Genaille.

“My mental health workers thought it would be good for me to get back into the community and help out the elderly,” says Genaille. “This is my first time volunteering (with Service for Seniors), but I’ve helped with the Salvation Army’s Christmas Buckets.”

She’s hoping to continue her work by heading to a soup kitchen next.

Senior Life Skills Teacher at Portage Collegiate Institute Maria Metzlaff was also at the bingo event and is excited to get some of her students involved with the elderly population. While it’s her first time collaborating with Service for Seniors, she’s open to working with them again.

a group at the bingo table.

“The students enjoyed it,” says Metzlaff. “I saw the students helping the seniors, the seniors helping the students, it was wonderful.”

Service for Seniors has earmarked the money from this grant to go toward nine weeks of the bingo program, which will take them to the end of March.